How To Take Accurate Body Measurements

One of the secrets to perfect fit is taking accurate body measurements. No matter if you use a commercial fitting pattern or draw up your pattern block from assessments, getting exact measurements is important to the achievement of your block. 

Only a tape measure is required! While having somebody else take your measurements is the most convenient option, you can completely do it yourself. Simply place the tape in the proper position in front of your mirror.

You should preferably be measured while wearing just your undergarments. That being said, a leotard or other form-fitting clothing will suffice. Just d o not take your measurements while wearing jeans, sweatpants, or any other thick and heavy clothing. It actually makes a huge difference.

Since the body, as you might know, is typically made of soft tissue, knowing how snugly to pull the tape around your body could be challenging. Accordingly, the tape must be tight enough but not too snug; it must not “dig in” or leave a small hole in your body. In addition, it must not be too loose! Simply wrap the tape all around the zone to be measured and try to hold it in place. This way, you can be able to get your finger behind the tape, but not any more.

When intending to stitch a garment for yourself (or somebody else), the very first step is to take precise body measurements. Without any of these vital measurements, it is difficult to discern which size pattern to choose and, as a result, reach a good fit. You should not assume that you would have the same size as you are when wearing high street clothing, for example, saying “I am a size 13 in Next, so I will opt for a size 13 top.” This is completely dependent on a number of factors, including:

  • Pattern company sizing charts, as some of you might know, are not always the same as high street size charts.
  • Sometimes pattern companies have different sizing charts.
  • Folk’s size ranges between stores and even in the same store at times. The ordinary person is very seldom the same size all through their entire body, such as hips, waist, bust, etc. 

This is where the elegance of sewing your own garments comes into play: you could really make a clothing to fit only you and fit you perfectly all the way throughout. This is accomplished first and foremost by taking exact body measurements, which must be done properly.

The following equipment is needed:

  • A good measuring tape. Tape measures can extend as they age, so keep a great one on hand.
  • To take measurements, you’ll need a notebook, a pencil or pen, and a body chart.
  • The body chart below is one that I found to be useful. It is available for free download from the FoldLine website.

What you should wear:

  • Preferably, you should wear the very same underwear that you intend to wear directly beneath your selected clothing. Because certain bras are padded, for instance, a distinct bra may actually impact the measurements taken.
  • Take your measurement results in your underwear or with well-fitting garments, such as leggings and a jersey top. Jeans, for instance, can have an effect on measurements, as can thick tops.

Other pro tips:

  • Be truthful with your measurements.  Don’t pay attention to the measurements; they’re just numbers. The actual size you come out with as shown in the pattern size charts could be larger than your high street size, often by some sizes. Completely disregard this – they are altogether separate scales, and you cannot make a comparison of the two sizes, so don’t be distressed if you’ve unexpectedly gained weight and are two sizes larger than you thought.

Now, Let’s take your measurements

Think it depends on what you intend to make, you might have to take a variety of body measurements. This guide will only cover four major measurements: entire bust, waist, hips, and nape to hem or waist.

  1. Make sure you’re dressed appropriately
  2. Check that you have the necessary tools.
  3. Stand with your feet close together in such a laid back upright position.
  4. Begin by measuring your full bust.
  5. Start taking your waist measurement.
  6. Then take your hip measurement.
  7. Lastly, take your nape to hem or nape to waist measurement next, which is either needed (dress vs. top).

Measure Your Full Bust

Measure Your Full Bust
Measure Your Full Bust
  • This can be considered the widest part of your bust – it extends all the way all over your back and over the peak of your bust. Check that the measuring tape is completely flat, not dropping low in the back.
  • Remember to take the bust measurement while you are laid back and breathing normally (don’t inhale in to save a centimeter or so).
  • The tape measure must be pulled tightly but not too snugly or too loosely(you must feel comfortable getting one or two fingers right under the tape measure).

Measure Your Waist 

easure Your Waist 
easure Your Waist 
  • Place your hands on your hips and stand up (with your 4 fingers at the front and your thumbs at the rear). Keep in mind that your thumbs must be in a horizontal line all over your normal waistline, referring towards one another at the back. This is exactly your ”standard” waistline. Imagine tying a twist in a piece of string all over your slimmest part of your body to create a cycle and letting it fall to relax on your hips – in which it drops to rest is your normal waistline.
  • Once more, ensure the tape measure is completely flat and strongly pulled around each other, but not too snug or too loose. You must be able to fit two fingers just under the measuring tape. Do not be enticed to inhale in and suck your belly.

Measure Your Hips 

Measure Your Hips 
Measure Your Hips 
  • This is the largest part of your body and is located lower down than you may assume (it is not at the peak or highest part of your hip bones). To see your complete point, take a glance at your silhouette in the mirror. It usually falls between 18 and 23cm under your normal waistline. Check that the measuring tape is completely flat to the floor once more.

Measure The Nape to Hem or Nape to Waist

  • For those who don’t know, the nape is the rear end of your neck in which a clothing’s neckline will usually fall – this is generally where the most skeletal part of your neck is felt or seen.
  • Begin your measuring tape at the nape of your neck and calculate all the way down to your normal waistline. You should also determine where you want the hem of your dress or top to fall.  It is, in fact, far easier to measure a dress’s length with the assistance of another person. If you do it yourself, you will have to bend to the front/side/back, which will result in an inaccurate measurement.

After you’ve taken these measurements, compare them to the size charts included with the pattern.  It is able to determine what size pattern to use by comparing your dimensions to the body measurements chart and the completed clothing measurements chart.

How Often Should I Measure My Body?

It is highly recommended to take your body measurements at least monthly, preferably every two weeks. It is not essential to track more frequently than that, as this is generally insufficient time to see significant changes.

Take pictures at least once every month, if not more frequently. Attempt to recreate the brightness and body position as closely as possible every time so that you can simply compare the pictures week by week.

Pro Tips on Body Measurement 

  • If at all possible, have a friend or relative, or your personal trainer take your body measurements for you.
  • To maintain continuity and prevent misreadings that might affect the results, measure every body part three to four times and compare the values of the measurements.
  • The tape must be pulled firmly and located flat, directly on your skin, without being too tightly drawn in — be constant with how snugly you pull the measuring tape every time.
  • Wear the same outfit every time you take your measurements.
  • Always take measurements at the same time of day and under similar conditions (for instance, before a workout, before a meal, or after waking up.)

Try it out to see what your body measurements are. Request somebody else take your body measurements and compare them to yours. If your body form changes frequently, it is critical to replicate your body measurements.